How to Become an Opportunity Magnet

In the world full of Iron filings, be a Magnet.

In marketing, there’s a concept of Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing. In Inbound marketing, the company creates free useful resources for their target market. People consume those resources, and some of them end up purchasing products from the company. On the other hand, in outbound marketing, the company approaches potential customers with their offer and tries to convince them to buy products from them.

The customers from Inbound Marketing are almost always better than the customers gathered by outbound marketing; they generally give higher price and often raise fewer complaints.

The same principle applies to the real life. You can either chase a job, a girl, or a position; or you can upgrade yourself in such a way that these things chase you. When you chase someone, you lose the upper hand to others; when others chase you, you get the upper hand.

So instead of reading pickup books, search what traits you need to cultivate that the girls approach you. Instead of asking for an interview at dozens of companies, try to find out what mini-projects you can develop and showcase to the world such that the companies approach you to work for them. Ask: do I have any practical skill that a business can use? If no, how can I learn it? Upgrade yourself.

Focus on your strengths. When you decide what are the upgrades you need to make, look at those upgrades which you are already good at or have interest in. Instead of trying to get a weakness from -2 to 10, try to get your weakness from -2 to 0 and take your strengths from 2 to 10.

Upgrading yourself is just one part of the equation. Another part is: put yourself in places and situations where you are visible and approachable. Find the mediums through which your desired person/thing/company can approach you. And be active there.

Let’s take an example. I frequently see young design students who create excellent designs and exhibiting them online. They build an online portfolio and talk design stuff on Twitter. Once they complete their graduation, they tweet out that they are open for a job. A couple of big accounts retweet them looking at their portfolio, and they get job offers from Google, Amazon, and other big firms. This is a normal sighting on my corner of Twitter.

One benefit of getting things from the pull approach is that you often get more than one opportunity, hence you have more options. The person with more options always has an advantage in negotiations.

So instead of chasing around, create black holes that pull opportunities towards you. Here’s a 4-step plan to summarize:

  1. Find the upgrades needed to attract a particular thing

  2. Upgrade yourself (preferably as per your strengths)

  3. Be visible; exhibit your skills

  4. Be approachable

PS. Connect with me on Twitter at @CrazyPolymath.

PPS. Subscribe to the Crazy Polymath Newsletter to get these posts in your inbox every week.